Evaluation and Qualification of Fibre Pigtailed Lasers for ESA’s SMOS Mission
SMOS / MOHA
SMOS Mission (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity).
Payload Module: Microwave Imaging Radiometer with Microwave Imaging Radiometer with Aperture Synthesis (MIRAS).
MOHA (MIRAS Optical Harness): Connects antennas with the control and correlator unit via a custom optical bus.
- Highest quality level for optical COTS is according to Telcordia standard or similar.
- Space qualified components not feasible (power budgets) or simply not existing.
- A full qualification exercise as per ESCC specification not feasible due to
- Time and cost constraints
- Industry is too fast moving
STRATEGY FOR SMOS/MOHA
- One time Lot Acceptance Testing for this particular mission
- One flight lot is purchased and tested for its suitability to the particular space application
- Evaluation phase with two possible COTS candidates for each component (subjected to most critical test, constructional analysis, manufacturer assessment).
Qualification Approach: Procurement Baselines
To reduce qualification effort
- Procure different parts with as many similarities as possible:
- Same optical fibre.
- Same pigtail cable.
- Same fibre optic connector
Assess willingness of manufacturer to cooperate in the proceeding
- Willingness to disclose exact processing
- Willingness to manufacture according to custom requirements (use the supplied fibre, cable, connectors).
- Willingness to help in failure analysis
Evaluation and Qualification approach:
- Most manufacturers are not willing to customise their process for a small volume order.
- Smaller manufacturers show greater interest and higher flexibility to customise their manufacturing and/or disclose the exact processing.
- A cost effective project qualification approach has been presented.
- Optical measurements through fibres are less repetitive than electrical measurements. Optical connectors repetitiveness is lower than for electrical connectors.